If you want the most hardcore BMW M3 possible, it’s the M3 CS you’re after. Despite being limited and significantly more expensive than the M3, it’s the one to get because it really is the best driving M3 of them all. But at almost $100,000, is it the best hardcore sport sedan on the market? Top Gear recently put it up against the all-new Jaguar Project 8 to find out.
The Jaguar Project 8 is an insane, hardcore version of the Jaguar XE sedan. Except there’s very little of the standard XE that remains after Project 8 treatment. So it gets a new engine, a 5.0 liter supercharged V8 that makes 600 hp, an all new suspension, all-wheel drive, chassis upgrades and even a longer wheelbase, as the front had to be extended out to fit both a V8 and all-wheel drive. It also gets a stripped out interior with an optional roll-cage, new aerodynamics and a massive rear wing. Think of it as Jaguar’s BMW M4 GTS.
By comparison, the BMW M3 CS is tame. It sports a 3.0 liter twin-turbo I6 that makes 464 hp and has pretty luxurious accommodations compared to the Jag. However, it’s still very fast and very exciting and is absolutely no slouch on a twisty road. So which one is better to drive? Well, it’s actually quite interesting according to TG.
On the road, the BMW M3 CS is actually the more nervous of the two. It’s the twitchier, more difficult car to drive, thanks to its razor-sharp front end but tail-happy rear end. It’s a car that needs to be manhandled, grabbed by the scruff of the neck, to drive fast but you’d better know what you’re doing or you’ll end up in a tree. Whereas the Jaguar Project 8 is actually calmer on the road, with more relaxed steering, a less jittery suspension (oddly enough) and better grip from its Michelin Cup 2s.
According to TG, the Jaguar Project 8 might be the very best driving sedan on the road. When it comes to the track, it’s a bit of a let down, as it’s still too big and heavy to be a proper track weapon. But on the road, it’s a superb driving car. Too bad it costs about double the M3 CS.